Self Portrait Tuesday May ’06: Why I’mPerfect


So it begins.

My first Self Portrait Tuesday challenge starts with the question all good things begin with: definition.

This picture was taken from the angle of my webcam, this old, broken down little Logitech thing that doesn't even work properly anymore (the image is captured using a Canon 300D, not said webcam) but it's appropriate because that webcam has seen me through my career as first a consumer tech journalist back home in Malaysia, and now as a stay-at-home mom in our new home of Seattle.

Apart from sharing the view of my old webcam (yes, my PC sits near my kitchen), this picture also shows me in a new light: a mom and a cook. I've started a new cooking blog just months ago to log recipes I've tried for new cooks who've just joined the fray. These days, most of my time is spent in the kitchen, preparing three square meals a day every weekday for my family, and I'm beginning to appreciate it even though the work can sometimes be difficult.

My friend Karli asked this question in her blog (which reminded me of the SPT challenge – who said reading other people's blogs was a waste of time?): How do you hold on to the person you are apart from your family?

Writing was, and still is, a large part of my life. Professionally, it'd been 11 years. Personally, counting diaries, poems and that horrid narrative in "rap language" I wrote for our school play of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in 1988, I've been writing since my first piece of poetry at 9 years old, about a park and a squirrel, scribbled in long hand on marginated paper.

As for that rap piece, I still remember having to run the phrase "kicked the bucket" in the first stanza by our play director Vinodini (remember that, woman?) to describe what happened to Snow White's mom. It had to be approved by our disciplinarian teacher Mrs Choo. Vino are you reading this?


Anyway, through blogging and cooking: that's how I keep what is truly me, still mine. I know the writing is not the same, and it will never be the way it was, the adrenaline rush. The pressure (well, the pressure from a child doing a number 2 on your carpet can be worse!). The gratification. The power.

But 11 years was quite enough. I'm just happy I survived with my mind and soul intact for this next chapter of my life.

I say better to be in danger of losing those to your family than your job.

ps. Oh yea, why "The I'mperfect Mom"? Most mothers want to be perfect for their kids. Want their children to have the best. To lead the best of lives. Sometimes, I get that way too, only to realise I might just be the most imperfect mom there ever was. All of us make mistakes and all of us come up short, one way or another. It's just good enough that we try, and that we will keep on trying until the day we leave this good earth.



  1. Jenn. JENN! I LOVE that picture of you. The expression on your face is amazing.

  2. hey girl! Yea, it’s my best blog-reading face, although it is usually more uninhibited than that, especially when reading blogs like your friend Steve’s hehe

  3. bekka said

    can’t wait to read more about you and see your photos. the light is amazing in your kitchen. bet that’s great for shots of food you’re cooking & writing about in your food blog. will have to check that out, too.

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